Monday, September 15, 2008

Screen Shots

A call to all users of charting software!

Often we read about trading systems and methods, risk management, triggers, market indicators, and the list goes on. As I read through blogs and trading books that talk about set-ups, triggers, stops I often ask myself "everything is being presented except the final piece of the puzzle", usually this is the entry and initial stop placement. Sure, once the trade gets going there is an entire different approach; when to take profits and how soon to move the stop. I wonder what the screen looks like that these guys are trading from? How do they arrange the windows to make it easy to monitor the things they need to monitor. I've seen pictures of huge desk's with multiple monitors. What's on these screens? Have you ever watched videos on Youtube by the "Suck My NASDAQ" guy? He's a day trader that makes pretty good calls but he never gives you details and never shows you his screen. Until we see what he is looking at, we cannot tell his source of info, or what he's using to form his "opinion". Not that we need too.

I thought I would use this blog to post some screen shots of various users. I don't know what exactly it will generate in terms of ideas or education, but it will be interesting. My screen has developed over the years moving averages and a bunch of indicators to only a few screens. I only use indicators I understand. My current screen for day trading has a 5 minute, 1 minute, risk screen, and pivot points. For end of day trading I use two screens which I have shown on previous videos, one that has moving averages and order entry (where I draw horizontal lines for entry, stop, and targets), and the other is the risk screen.

How to do a screen shot (screen capture)

Method 1: This is the method I use. Maximize your application that you want to capture. Press the "Prt Scr" key (above the "Home" key). Open up your email application and "paste" the image. If you want to trim it first, open up your Microsoft Paint or something similar (I use a really old version of Paint Shop Pro) and edit the image.

Method 2: Use other software the capture, Paint Shop Pro also does this (I use a really old version, simple but effective). You could also use something like screen Hunter 4.0 (Freeware).

The problem with looking at other peoples code and screen captures is that you tend to want to try it all to find the silver bullet. I've tried so many formulas and set-ups that I eventually figures out what I wanted. You don't know what you want or can have until you know the boundary's of what is available, then you find yourself satisfied. I'm down to using different types of moving averages, stochastics, ATR, and TTM on bar charts (I found that I don't like candlestick charts). I also found I prefer blue and red bars. This took hours of looking at charts to find my ultimate preference. So a word of caution when you look at screen shots, before you ask "how did you do that, can you share the code?", consider if it would really be useful to your trading game. On the other hand, perhaps you need to immerse yourself in all that's available in order to find what works for "you".
I would like to post screen shots of other users, doesn't matter what software you use. Please email me your screen shots to tsxtrends @ gmail dot com (fix the email address, it is modified to prevent spam engines). It would also be helpful to have a small description to help people understand “why” and "what" they are looking at.
Here is a screen shot of my EOD screens (using my IB simulated account). I'll post my other screens later next week.

Above: Main screen with MA's. Watch the videos for additional info on this screen.

Screen Shots by David W
He writes:
"I have lots of screens and indicators that I have tested and tried over the last few years – and now tend to use 2-5 indicators, CCI, and a price chart. In other words I have my favorites. This is a great idea because I got to this point looking at other peoples screens and setups. Would only take a few minutes for the screen shot. Also this is exactly how I am documenting my system – screen shots and descriptions in Word. Further, If I like someone’s idea – I add it to my future plan section in my Trading Plan. "


  1. Is your purpose of this Blog to help reader migrate to a auto trading system like AmiBroker or is it more broader? Perhaps it is helping readers understand and use various tools including an auto trading product like AmiBroker and various techniques like risk management in order to reduce workload and improve accuracy resulting in greater trading success.

  2. Here is a topic I hope you will address in the near future as I am trying to automate the following thought and apply a more automated risk management capability to my trading.

    Apparently you use a strict money management scheme that would limit losses by imposing a stop-loss immediately after a trade is initiated. I agree with you an exit strategy must be in place before the trade is initiated. But --- Should the trade become a winner, the exit strategy perhaps should be revised to lock in gains (perhaps setting a trail for a pending reversal) or increasing the original stops (you probably do this manually). Sometimes you want to let some winners ride long (not to often in this market at the moment when taking short gains is king). In your case I believe you manually move your stop lines on the chart – but I am sure this could and should be automated. Another technique would be as the trade progresses the stops are tightened – again I believe you do this manually – but perhaps this could be automated. Comments please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. The first purpose is to track my learning and development. The second is to have others learn along with me, offer suggestions, and use what I have developed to help themselves along. I have no final destination for the blog, I do for myself though. This intention of course trickles down to automating order, reducing errors, risk management, etc.

    Stops - I have automated trailing stops programmed but not implemented for live trading with real money, tested only in my simulated account. EOD trading does not require automated stops (but could be done to reduce erros by moving trandlines). If I trade very short term (hold for 3 min to 1 hour) I'll set the initial stop and keep my finger on the "close" position button to exit. I have decided to concentrate more on trading than on programming. I will keep your suggestions in mind though. Sometimes I use IB's booktrader window as it has close reverse buttons, and you can watch the price/volume jump around.

  4. Another Brian Wrote: The goal is to develop an automated trading system that will trade while I'm at work (or sleeping). This blog will highlight my trials and tribulations of my work to achieve an automated trading system. I also momentum trade stocks …….

    Blogs - The subject of trading/auto trading while still working or having a life is of interest to me - and perhaps a lofty goal. I share these goals with you and am doing some thinking on this subject and on previous posts. I want to make some comments and maybe share some stuff. Also, I do plan to try to stay on subject e.g. “Screen Shots” comment on screen shots and not the Automatic trading capability or a general question like this. I have not left many blog comments nor have I been a “Sharing” type person in the past – so I am a “Blog Newby”. Is there a way to select the say “Auto Trading” label, leave a comment, and have that comment appear in a “Recent Comments” section (I seen this before in other blogs). In other words when I visit this blog – I would like to read the latest comments and not have to visit each label. This may exist – I am just not that familiar with using a blog other than reading one. This may exist on your blog – I just missed it.

    Speaking on staying on subject – Is there any chance on meeting the “Made in Canada” girl at the bottom of your blog page?

  5. Brian,
    I would like to know where you got the code for your risk screen. Did you write it yourself or was it supplied by AB or IB? I have been using Amibroker for a couple years and just recently opened an account with IB. That risk screen is a great idea and I would love to incorporate that into my setup.
    Thanks for sharing all this great knowledge!

    Dry :-)

  6. Hi Brian,

    I saw your afl to trading on the chart, my idea is very simple, why don't we just add a feature like a sample order placer, I mean, just buy and sell at market or stp or limit, with 2 button on the right, one for buy, one for sell. Like ninjatrader. what do you think?


  7. I'm working on a post that describes risk management, along with the code.
    As far as the suggestion of some buttons for buy and sell, if you look at the Tipster Trendline code comment section at the top of the code, it lists some of the things I plan on adding. Buttons is one of the functions. If you want simple buy and sell buttons, consider using IB's book trader, where you can actually add your own custom buttons.

  8. Also, there have not been any screen shots emailed to me. Even if you don't consider yourself a pro, send in your best screen and others will provide you with their comments. It could be beneficial to you.

  9. i've seena afl code like your screen,but i can not find it, can you sent to me your afl code? thks!

  10. Which screen are you referring too?

  11. the screen: percent of the held by, and the CII with pivot point on the screen. thks!

  12. The screen with the pivot points code is from the AFL library and is unmodified. . I use the pivots for buy points and some risk management.

    The CCI Panel with Full Statistics is from the Library as well and is unmodified. I use this screen to detect trends.

    I find these two screens helpful in making a decision for EOD trading. I am going to document my system and how I use auto trading to help with risk management and will try to post those ideas here.

  13. thks for your reply, and the afl code for a chart with percent of shares held by? thks very much

  14. Here is a better link on the CCI with full stats.

  15. I am not sure the best way to post code but here it is. I use the the one year growth to understand if the stock is "expected" to grow. These are good stocks to buy and write option on. This was modified from the example in the User's Guide on Low Level Graphics. Again I use this all the time and I use this information to convince my full service broker on some long term decisions on my retirement account. You can add more information as required. Really easy to change.

    _SECTION_BEGIN("Graphics 1");
    // OverlayMode = 2 means that nothing except
    // low-level gfx should be drawn
    // there will be no grid, no title line, no plots
    // and nothing except what we code using Gfx* calls

    HInsiders = GetFnData("InsiderHoldPercent");
    HInst = GetFnData("InstitutionHoldPercent");

    function DrawPiePercent( x, y, radius, startpct, endpct )
    PI = 3.1415926;
    sa = 2 * PI * startpct / 100;
    ea = 2 * PI * endpct / 100;
    xsa = x + radius * sin( sa );
    ysa = y + radius * cos( sa );
    xea = x + radius * sin( ea );
    yea = y + radius * cos( ea );

    GfxPie( x - radius, y - radius, x + radius, y + radius, xsa, ysa, xea, yea );

    radius = 0.45 * Status("pxheight"); // get pixel height of the chart and use 45% for pie chart radius
    textoffset = 2.4 * radius;
    GfxSelectSolidBrush( colorRed );
    DrawPiePercent( 1.1*radius, 1.1*radius, radius, 0, HInsiders );
    GfxRectangle( textoffset , 42, textoffset +15, 57 );
    GfxSelectSolidBrush( colorBlue );
    DrawPiePercent( 1.1*radius, 1.1*radius, radius, HInsiders, HInst + HInsiders );
    GfxRectangle( textoffset , 62, textoffset +15, 77 );
    GfxSelectSolidBrush( colorGreen );
    DrawPiePercent( 1.1*radius, 1.1*radius, radius, HInst + HInsiders, 100 );
    GfxRectangle( textoffset , 82, textoffset +15, 97 );

    GfxSelectFont("Times New Roman", 16, 700, True );
    GfxTextOut("Percent of shares held by:", textoffset , 10 );
    GfxSelectFont("Tahoma", 12 );
    GfxSetTextColor( colorRed );
    GfxTextOut( "Insiders = " + HInsiders + "%", textoffset + 20, 40 );
    GfxSetTextColor( colorBlue );
    GfxTextOut( "Institutions = " + HInst + "%", textoffset + 20, 60 );
    GfxSetTextColor( colorGreen );
    GfxTextOut( "Others = " + ( 100 - (HInst+HInsiders) ) + "%", textoffset + 20, 80 );
    GfxSetTextColor( colorGreen );
    GfxTextOut( "1 Year Growth " + GetFnData("OneYearTargetPrice"), textoffset + 20, 100 );

    GfxSelectFont("Tahoma", 8 );


  16. thks! but i don't know how to use it, all is blue.. hic.. what is Fndata?

  17. thks verry much, i'v understand what is it!. do you have any good trading EOD AFL code?

  18. What do you mean by "trading" code? Automation code or something that gives you signals based on EOD data? If you are looking for signals, the best place to start is to understand price action. Indicators wont make you money by themselves. There is a good book on the sidebar that should get you going, I've read it two times already.

  19. Yes! sthing give signal form EOD data.
    I've dvelop my EOD chartm can you see it from
    do you have any idear about it?

  20. You can use an exploration. Look it up in Amibroker help. You run an exploration or scan and it will give you the stocks for that day that have buy signals. There are samples on the Amibroker AFL library.

  21. thks sir and one more question: how to import FA data on to AB?

  22. FA is available from Yahoo, using Amiquote. Select Yahoo financial data. There is long and short version to download. Just stick to the long version.


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